Here, FreeMind Group’s Ayal Ronen explains the application process for funding by US Government agencies, exploring the challenges and potential benefits of applying for non-US entities.
Burns are directly responsible for up to 4,500 deaths in the US each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and of the 1.1 million people who require attention for burn-related injuries, some 10,000 die annually from infections. Clearly burns are a scourge, but they may be a little easier to treat, thanks to technology developed by Australian company Polynovo. The firm developed a product called NovoSorb, a synthetic polymer matrix that can be used to treat burns and other serious skin wounds, that helps the body build new tissue damaged by burns.
NovoSorb could help save lives – and the initial research and clinical trials that went into its development was supplied by the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) – even though PolyNovo began its life in Australia and is traded on the ASX.
This is just one example of the efforts of not just BARDA, but of a slew of other US agencies – the Department of Defence (DOD; US Army, DTRA, DARPA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – to fund such projects. In 2020, the NIH alone awarded $263 million to 565 non-US projects, 37 percent more than just four years earlier, with other agencies providing tens of millions more.